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What is etanercept and why is it prescribed?

Etanercept is a an anti-TNF drug used to reduce inflammation in people with inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

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How do I take etanercept and how long does it take to work?

Etanercept is usually given as a subcutaneous injection once or twice a week.

If etanercept works for you, you’ll probably feel better in 2–12 weeks.

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What are the possible risks and side-effects of etanercept?

The most common side-effects of etanercept are a blocked or runny nose, nausea, mild fever, headaches, dizziness, a rash and stomach problems. It can also make you more likely to develop infections.

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Can etanercept affect other medicines and treatments?

You may be prescribed etancercept along with other drugs, but check with your doctor before starting any new medications. 

Live vaccines aren't usually recommended and you may need to stop etanercept for a time if you're having surgery.

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Can I drink alcohol while I'm on etanercept?

You can drink alcohol in moderation while you're on etanercept, but you should keep within the recommended weekly amounts if you're also on methotrexate.

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Does etanercept affect fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Current guidelines state that etanercept can be used, with some precautions, during pregnancy and there's no evidence that it's harmful if used by breastfeeding mothers.

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